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Do’s and Don’ts on how to improve your branding with photography – Catering sector 

 

We all know that a picture tells a thousand words; pictures or photographs promoting your sector on your website or marketing literature are essentially sales tools which attract your customer.

 

Welcome to my first series of “Do’s and Don’ts when planning photography for those of you in the catering sector:

 

1: Do invest in a professional photographer who specialises in food photography. Food photography is highly skilled and there are lots of tricks of the trade that these specialists use to make food products appeal to the eye. For instance old crockery photographs far better than new.

Poor food pictures are typically used in cheap take away restaurants yet Mac Donald’s chain always hire specialist food photographers. Simply put they know that well shot food products entice their customers into their restaurants.

 

2: Do expect your specialist food photographer to wish to use a food stylist; for almost every product there are specialist stylists who work for all the well-known brands and as well as creating the set they help the photographer to direct the shoot. It’s an upfront investment with long term benefits.

 

3: Do build a library of your desired food pictures of the events you have catered for.

 

4: Do take the time out to plan your required photograph schedule; giving your photographer a concise brief will save you money as he or she can accurately work out their fee and calculate how many days they will need prior to the arranged shoot date.

 

5: Within your planning of your required schedule, do consider hiring your photographer to shoot the imagery you need for all the seasons. Example if you also hire table wear and furniture for the festive or wedding season, then it will save you time and money to get these shots in the can now and upload them on your website later in the year.

 

6: Don’t try to cut corners by taking the food photography shots yourself. You will probably be disappointed with the results and there are many products which look ok through the lens, such as milk, but because it’s translucent, in the finished product it will look inferior. Rarely is real milk in professional photographs, a popular trick of the trade is actually swapping milk with white paint.

 

7: Don’t make the popular mistake of shooting your restaurant with empty tables; always use consensual customers, staff or better still professional models. An empty restaurant shot or hotel lobby creates no ambience for the viewer.

8: Don’t over complicate the brief with too many props. A simple blue and white stripped bowl, a single flower stem and basic cutlery is far easier on the eye than a cluttered table.

 

9: Don’t expect to eat the food after your photographer has completed the shoot, there is likely to be all sorts of additives used to make the food look appealing; hairspray, and glucose syrup are common tricks of the trade used to make your food truly appealing to the eye.

 

10: Don’t focus on the upfront professional fee, the more organised you are then you can achieve the full seasonality required shots in one shoot which will last you the whole year ahead.

 

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